Monday, November 14, 2016

Furlough Prep Part 5: The Last 30 Days

The homestretch is here. Less than thirty days before furlough.

Our walls are bare, most of the boxes are packed and waiting to make an entrance to the attic while the suitcases are about to make an appearance for the long trip over the ocean.

If you’ve followed us on this journey over the years, you know I really try to close out seasons of time well wherever we are at. We learned the benefits of “saying goodbye well” during our pre-field training and I have found it to be beneficial for our family, so the tradition continues.

Why say good-bye to this term? Well, we know far too well how transient our community is. This dynamic of people we currently see on a daily and weekly basis may or may not be around when we, Lord willing, return in a year. As life goes anywhere you're at, things always change. What we know as “normal” now won't be the same “normal" we return to. And yes, we’re keeping this in mind as we transition back to the U.S., a place that used to be our normal, knowing full well that it’s not the same place we left.

So we’ve begun our list of things we have loved about the last 4 years…the things, the people, the country that have become our home. As we started this list, it occurred to me how our departure, with this list, coincides with November, a month where we try to be intentional about gratitude and thankfulness for all the Lord has done.

In looking over the last four years, I have so much to be grateful for. Even in the hard times, the times I questioned why in the world we are here…in this place…that really feels like the ends of the earth! This calling that He’s given us to support the work of Bible translation has my heart. No, it hasn’t been easy. Yes, it’s been exhausting, hard, filled with pain, challenges we’ve never faced before, but He’s carried us through each situation. We praise God for the physical health He’s given us even if it has come with a couple of broken bones, some nasty infections and many a stomach virus. I’m thankful for His protection over Jason as he’s flown all over this beautiful country and come home safely at night. I’m thankful that He’s heard and mended our broken hearts when the homesickness and desire to be with our families had us in tears. 

Suffice it to say, I could go on...there is no question that we have been blessed in our first term overseas. As we look forward to the next year, with the unknown challenges that lie ahead, we have the assurance that He has and will continue to be faithful, no matter where in the world we are.

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